For people in the developing world, getting connected to the internet via smartphone might change their lives even more than having a child, according to Google's Eric Schmidt.

At the the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, prominent tech leaders participated in a panel on the future of the digital global economy. Along with Google executive chairman Schmidt, the panel included Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao. For once, the competing leaders agreed on one thing: the historical shift of bringing broadband connectivity to the developing world.

"Almost all the world's problems can be solved by broadband connectivity," Schmidt said. "Wire them up, and the citizens will take care of a lot."

Vodafone, the European telecommunications giant, is a key player in creating a "wired" developing world. According to its CEO, Vodafone invested in data towers in India even though early economic calculations didn't seem profitable.

"We built a new tower [in a rural area], and within eight months, the amount of data that went to the tower was the same as a tower in a [populated] area," Colao said. "People move from the edges into the area in order to be connected to data."

Facebook's Sandberg said that low-cost internet is a vital component in creating entrepreneurial opportunities in developing areas and bringing about a "historical shift from the powerful to the powerless."

"Elites were once the only people who could read and were educated," Schmidt added. "With technology, everyone gets smarter, because it's free or very inexpensive."

When asked whether technology also had a negative impact, especially with regard to destroying jobs, Schmidt echoed Sandberg's early statements that technology doesn't just create jobs for coders but in other sectors as well. According to Schmidt, every tech jobs create five to seven other, non-tech jobs.

The panel then began to address how each of their respective companies was tackling the issue of bringing low-cost broadband connectivity to the developing world. Sandberg mentioned Internet.org, Nadella talked about spectrum technology, and Schmidt talked about LTE signal-emmitting balloons

"When I got a call from Google about these balloons, I asked 'What are you guys smoking?'" said Colao. "Now, we are working together, and it looks like it just might work."